Meet the Dune Lakes Herd: Willow
By Rob Pliskin, Equine Pathfinders Foundation volunteer
Earth Mother. Willow time.
Beautiful Willow fools everyone. Ask her filly Sahara, the youngest one in the herd. While Willow was one of the mares keeping company with the formerly intact stallion Soma, we had the region’s venerable equine veterinarian check to see if she had settled.
Nope, he says, not pregnant. Fooled him.
So she came back to the herd, kept on grazing and growing - sideways. “Is she really not pregnant?” we said. “Look, even the roundness of her belly changes. But she IS a serious grazer.” Fooled us.
A serious grazer, no wonder! Out there with Soma and the mares, weeks at Kids’ Camp, secretly growing a foal, and then becoming a good mum! Of course her favorite pastime was grazing! Until finally one perfect morning at Kids’ Camp — surprise. Rosemary sees a new little head and tail on skinny legs wobbling around under her — beautiful Sahara, probably not 15 minutes old.
That morning she was named by one of the smiling Campers lined up at the fence watching them. Willow fools campers too.
In the arena, on the track, and in the paddocks, she teaches persistence without anger, the meaning of horse time, and when it’s a good time. Magically even-tempered and forbearing, a real Earth Mother, Willow does it in her own time. Get with her, or she will fool you too.
Willow teaches persistence without anger, the meaning of horse time, and when it’s a good time.
The horses of the Dune Lakes herd are an integral part of the Dune Lakes Lodge Retreat and Horse Inspired Learning Centre where they help their human partners create learning experiences to improve the wellbeing and success of children, youth, adults, and families.
Under the loving care of Rosemary Wyndham-Jones and Alistair Wait, who run the Equine Pathfinders Foundation, the horses make their home on the beautiful South Kaipara Head Peninsula, a massive, ancient sand barrier that separates the South Kaipara Harbour from the Tasman Sea.
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